9Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’
13“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Response: The religious leader spent his days dedicated to studying and teaching the Jewish laws and faith. The tax collector spent his days cheating his fellow Jews. Which prayer did God answer and why and why not?